The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.
New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft first obtained by The Associated Press.Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said late Monday the changes were needed to ensure that the Endangered Species Act would not be used as a "back door" to regulate the gases blamed for global warming.
Well, that's pretty damned ridiculous. He says right there that his interest isn't "species," it's regulation of gases alleged to affect global warming. He's got his regulations mixed up. (Having things mixed-up seems to be common in the proud-of-his-college-"c"-average Bush administration.) Will somebody please slap the guy and yell "Snap out of it!"
Essentially, Bush proposes to "relax" current natural resources and wildlife policies, leaving the welfare of our natural resources and wildlife to be determined by federal agencies (such as the Dept. of Transportation) that know nothing about land and life, instead of agencies that do (Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, etc.).
Who needs independent assessments, second opinions, scientific input, diverse perspectives, or even a brain for that matter? Not us.
Would any of these federal agencies have proposed these projects in the first place if they thought it might be a problem? No, they wouldn't have wasted their time. If Bush has his way, these federal agencies will just go ahead with their projects without concern to anyone except their developers ($$$).
Please read today's NY Times editorial An Endangered Act, which addresses President Bush's continued attempts to eradicate the physical health and welfare of flora and fauna in this great country, quickly and surely.
It's a wonder I still have hair left.